Sunday, June 11, 2006

grey gardens














Plot Synopsis:
"The unbelievable but true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, recluses who live in the decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as "Grey Gardens," a place so derelict that the local authorities once threatened to evict them for violating building and sanitation codes. The incident made national headlines -- American royalty, living in squalor! "Little Edie", once an aspiring actress of striking beauty, put her New York life on hold to care for her mother, but then never left her side again. Together they descended into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity that no one had ever shared until the Maysles arrived with their camera and tape recorder. Little Edie -- a still-attractive woman at 56 -- parades about coquettishly in her trademark improvised turbans, reminisces about her brilliant past, still hoping that her Big Chance and Big Romance are just around the corner. Big Edie, a trained soprano in her bohemian days, trills romantic songs of yesteryear. As the women bicker, prattle, and flirt, the film documents a bittersweet love story, a record of the powerful and complex relationship between mother and daughter."


i love this documentary, but as i watched it i couldn't help but feel i was watching myself through an acid haze. but maybe most writers can relate to edith and edie because of the solitude of a writer's existence and the way years and seasons pass without notice. the cat population here is down to one, but i could very easily see myself going into the attic to feed the raccoons.


apparently a grey gardens movie is being made. jessica lange -- good choice. drew barrymore -- poor choice.

a website devoted to grey gardens: here

more interesting stuff: here

7 comments:

jason evans said...

Nothing shows true humanity better than people who choose to leave their fellow humans behind.

You seem to have a thing for racoons, Anne. :)

Jeff said...

I'm commenting without having seen the documentary, but from what I have read of the story, I can't understand why they would choose to live as recluses in such squalor if poverty were not the issue? That, coupled with the bizarre behavior, makes me wonder if drugs, alcohol, or mental illness, or some combination of the three played a part.

anne frasier said...

jason, i do have a thing for raccoons. :D

jeff, they really weren't so different from a lot of people -- just a bit more extreme. i kept thinking, why don't they sell grey gardens. it would have been worth millions, but i think it defined who they were. the mother was content there. the daughter kept saying she wanted to leave, but she lived at grey gardens about 45 years. she died in 2002 at 84.

Bailey Stewart said...

Given my present situation, that's a little scary ...

anne frasier said...

oh, eve! i'll bet that does hit a little close to home. :(


as i putter around in my own house i kind of realize why the story seemed familiar. when something quits working here, i just ignore it. and after a while i get used to not having it. i have no hot water in the main bathroom, so i just quit using it. and i forget about it until someone acts shocked that i have no hot water for them to use. the furnace gives me a headache, so i have electric heaters and i don't use the furnace. in minnesota. just ignore what doesn't work right or it will drive you insane. that's the way i function anymore. that's kind of what these women did. little by little, things fell apart and they just got used to it.

Sandra Ruttan said...

This story sounds bizarre and twisted, and it's about time blogger stopped having a hissy fit.

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh Anne - that just made it much more scarier.